Luigi Maggi

Didone abbandonata
R: Luigi Maggi. B: Arrigo Frusta, based on Publius Vergilius Maro. K: Giovanni Vitrotti. D: Alberto A. Capozzi, Mirra Principi, Giuseppe Gray, Gigetta Morano, Norma (Norina) Rasero, Mario Voller Buzzi. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino (serie d’oro). It 1910
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema
Swedish titles

“After seven years of travelling, Aeneas and the other Trojans are surprised by a storm that wrecks their ship on the African coast. Here they are captured by the Amazons of the Queen of Carthage, Dido, who gives order to kill them. But soon Dido falls in love with Aeneas; and when the King of Numidia, Iarbas, comes to marry Dido, she rejects him. But in the meantime Anchises appears Aeneas in dreams, and commands him to leave to found Rome. So, while Iarbas’army surrounds Carthage, Aeneas embarks secretly for Rome. As Dido notices Aeneas’ship in the distance, she throws herself into the fire that is destroying her palace.”

Una partita a scacchi
R: Luigi Maggi. K: Giovanni Vitrotti. D: Antonio Grisanti, Febo Mari. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. It 1912
French titles

“Una partita a scacchi is a small jewel of a suspense and psychological tension. Almost all the story takes place inside a train wagon, yet the rhythm and tension never go down. Also thanks to the two main roles: Antonio Grisanti, convincing and disturbing weirdie and Febo Mari, a ‘d’annunziano’ actor who gives us one of his most convincing performances here. The script, in its simplicity, is valued by a very modern use of the cross cutting. The scenes showing  the house of the insane people are subtly disturbing too. Mari, in this case the victim of a madman, will perform the role of a madman instead in the ending of Il fuoco (Itala, 1915), perhaps one of this most famous film (sic!) together with Cenere (Ambrosio, 1916).
The preservation was carried out by the Museo Nazionale del Cinema di Torino, based on an tinted nitrate print with French intertitles. From the nitrate print  a positive color print was printed on safety film, using the Desmet method. The restoration was conducted at the Haghefilm laboratory in Amsterdam in 1995.”
Museo Nazionale del Cinema

Sogno di un tramonto d’autunno
R: Luigi Maggi. B: Gabriele D’Annunzio (play), Arrigo Frusta (screenplay). K: Giovanni Vitrotti. D: Antonietta Calderari, Mary Cléo Tarlarini, Mario Voller Buzzi, Gigetta Morano, Oreste Grandi, Paolo Azzurri, Lola Visconti Brignone, Filippo Costamagna, Ernesto Vaser, Ercole Vaser, Giuseppina Ronco. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino (serie d’Oro). It 1911
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema/EYE Filmmuseum (Desmetcolor)
German intertitles

“Gradeniga, the Doge’s widow, lives withdrawn in a palace on the river of the Brenta. In the sunset of an autumn evening she looks, in the grip of a mortal anguish, beyond the gate, waiting for the ship to pass, on which the rival Pantea takes her the love of the beautiful Orseolo away. Before the fall of night, Pentella, the waitress of the Dogaressa, conducts into the palace the sorceress Schiavona, an expert of spells. The celebration of a deadly ritual starts: a great glare on the river signalizes the fire on the ship and the dead of the two lovers.”
European Film Gateway

“This is in no sense a picture of a dream. In it, another of D’Annuncio‘s tragic scenarios is set forth in beautiful pictures. The action is supposed to take place in Venice at the time of her glory. The story deals with thwarted passion and the terrible vengeance the neglected woman wreaked upon her supplanter in the affections of a count. (…) The photographs and lighting are perfect and give what might be termed a literary atmosphere to the scenes that is very pleasing. The scenes themselves are artfully constructed and add greatly to the picture. The quality of the acting of these well- known Ambrosio players needs no comment, but it is remarkably fine. Exhibitors will make no mistake in featuring this picture; but they should be careful to add a light comedy to go with it in the bill, as this picture is certainly very tragic. It is, however, among the strongest pictures, if not the strongest, of the week. It is certainly the most artistic.”
The Moving Picture World, January 20, 1912

La nave dei leoni (The Ship of Lions)
R: Luigi Maggi. K: Giovanni Vitrotti. D: Mario Bonnard, Gigetta Morano, Vitale De Stefano, Antonio Grisanti, Paolo Azzurri, Alfred Schneider. P: Società Anonima Ambrosio, Torino. It 1912
Print: Museo Nazionale del Cinema / EYE
Dutch titles

“A brigantine is carrying some lions from Africa destined for a zoo in Europe. The lions are held under control by a tamer, Jeannette. During the journey, the shady business manager, Johnson, falls in love with Jeannette, but she does not correspond, and doesn’t like his attentions. In fact she loves Jack, the ship’s captain, who becomes her lover. Johnson, driven crazy with jealousy, wants to take revenge on Jack. Assaulted by the sailors, triggered by Johnson, Jack defends himself by firing his revolver, and he and Jeannette take refuge in the hold. Then he sets the ship on fire, and eventually they manage to reach a lifeboat.”
European Film Gateway

“In 1909 – 1910, Ambrosio cameraman Giovanni Vitrotti shot films there (i.e. in Russia) and contributed to the beginnings of Russian film production. In 1912 Ambrosio hired lion tamer Alfred Schneider and his lions for a series of sensational melodramas such as La nave dei leoni.”
Giorgio Bertellini in: Richard Abel: Encyclopedia of Early Cinema. Routledge. London/New York 2005, p. 19

More films by Luigi Maggi on this site:
>>> Maciste, Italy’s Fairbanks,   Extraordinary: Saturnino, Italy 1913   Blockbusters from Italy